About The Awards

 Americana Honors & Awards
September 21st, 2016
Nashville, TN 


“The shining star of Nashville and music everywhere.”Emmylou Harris

Our marquis event, the Americana Honors & Awards Show returns to the historically cool Ryman Auditorium on September 21, 2016. It will once again be hosted by the iconic Jim Lauderdale, wtih the All Star Band led by the phenomenal Buddy Miller.

Each year the Americana Music Association honors distinguished members of the music community. Six member-voted awards and several Lifetime Achievement Awards are handed out while over 2000 artists, music-loving fans and entertainment industry executives look on.

The Honors & Awards have featured many amazing moments over the years. Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash’s last live performance was on the Americana stage.  Artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Robert Plant & His Band of Joy, Dr. John with Dan Auerbach, Rosanne Cash, Stephen Stills and Joan Baez have brought our audience’s to their feet.



Album of the Year: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, Lucinda Williams, Produced by Lucinda Williams, Tom Overby, and Greg Leisz
Artist of the Year: Sturgill Simpson
Duo Group of the Year: The Mavericks
Song of the Year: “Turtles All the Way Down" Written by Sturgill Simpson
Emerging Artist of the Year: Shakey Graves
Instrumentalist of the year: John Leventhal
Spirit of Americana / Free Speech in Music Award co-presented by the Americana Music Association and the First Amendment Center: Buffy Sainte-Marie
Lifetime Achievement Award, Trailblazer:  Don Henley 
Lifetime Achievement for Instrumentalist: Ricky Skaggs
Lifetime Achievement for Performance: Los Lobos
Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriter: Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
President’s Award: BB King


Click here to find a history of the Americana Honors & Awards.



Below are some important dates and information on the Awards nomination and election process.

You MUST be a member of the Americana Music Association in good standing to participate in the Nomination and Election process.   If you are not a member, artists may join at the rate of $35 per year.  If you are an industry professional the rate is $75 per year.  Click here to join if you are not a member already.

All members will be sent a “Call for Nominees” email in the spring. The winners will not be announced until the Americana Honors & Awards presentation at the Ryman Auditorium on September 21st, 2016.

Below is the Criteria for each of the following categories.
The eligibility period for the Americana Music Association’s “Of The Year” categories runs from April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016. 

1. Album of the Year - For any Americana album released during the eligibility period. Award to artist and producer(s).

2. Artist of the Year - For an Americana artist who has had an exemplary year based on overall recognition and activity whether through album, song, radio airplay, publicity, touring, or other criteria within the eligibility period. Award to the artist.
3. Duo/Group of the Year - For an Americana duo or group who have had an exemplary year based on overall recognition and activity, whether through album, song, radio airplay, publicity, touring, or other criteria within the eligibility period. Award to the duo or group.

4. Song of the Year - For any Americana single with original words and music released during the eligibility period.  Award to the songwriter(s) and performer(s).

5. Emerging Artist of the Year - For an Americana solo artist, duo, or group having an exemplary year and first blush of national public awareness through overall recognition and activity, whether through album, song, radio airplay, sales, publicity, touring, or other criteria during eligibility period who has not previously been nominated in any category. Award to the artist, duo or group.
6. Instrumentalist of the Year -
An award given to a musician known primarily as an instrumental performer having an exemplary year within the eligibility period based on overall recognition and activity, whether through work on an album, song, touring, or other criteria. Nominees are exclusive to this category. Award to the musician.




How do I purchase and award show ticket?
At this time award show tickets are available to conference registrants only.

What do I wear?
This is not a black tie event. Most people are attending evening showcases after the award show, so we recommend you dress comfortably for an evening out on the town. Casual chic always works!

Where do I pick up my award show ticket(s)?
Your tickets will be included with your conference credentials at the Americana registration desk during designated times as indicated on your confirmation letter or at the Ryman box office day of show. Award show tickets will NOT be mailed to you.

Are award show tickets refundable?

Can I pick my seat for the award show?
All seats are assigned at the discretion of the Americana Music Association. Seating is done on a first come first served basis, with priority going to sponsors, award show VIPs and conference attendees. You may request main floor or balcony.

Can I request seating with friends?
Yes. We ask that you make your request when you purchase your conference registration. There will not be any last minute seating changes.

What happens if I lose my award show ticket?
You will have to purchase another.

Can I use my ticket stub to attend the evening showcases?
No. You will need a laminate badge or an evening showcase wristband.

Will I receive a confirmation letter indicating a purchase was made?
Yes. We ask that you bring the letter with you when pick up your tickets.

Is there a shuttle bus?
The buses will be outside the Ryman Auditorium to take you to the evening showcase venues. You must be wearing a wristband or a laminate badge in order to board.